Six of the best from Baden-Württemberg – Wherever you go in SouthWest Germany, the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, you are never far from a grand palace, a romantic castle, half-timbered houses – and something outstanding to eat and drink.
This is Germany’s most Michelin-star studded region.
So if your stopping off for a simple coffee and cake, a locally-brewed pint, local wines or world-class Black Forest craft gin – you are in for a treat.
Here are six of the best ways to combine glorious attractions with great food and drink in Baden-Württemberg in 2018.
Reach for the stars
Of Germany’s 300 Michelin-starred restaurants, a quarter (74) are in SouthWest Germany. The greatest concentration is in Baiersbronn, a Black Forest community, where three classy restaurants hold an astonishing total of eight Michelin stars.
Posh palaces and comfort food
Baden-Württemberg boasts some of Europe’s outstanding examples of grand architecture. Ludwigsburg’s 300-year-old palace is a fine Baroque building and Hohenzollern Castle may be 19th-century, but it’s easy to imagine Rapunzel on the ramparts.
Best Renaissance palace? That’s Weikersheim, with its exquisite Baroque garden.
Distilling Black Forest style
The Black Forest offers much more than cuckoo clocks and hiking trails. Half of Germany’s distilleries are here, transforming the abundant plums, raspberries, pears and cherries into traditional Schnapps (fruit brandies). With 900 small, private stills, Oberkirch is Europe’s distilling capital, with a fun Schnapps Walking Trail. What is NEW is gin. Century-old skills now produce the world’s first truffled gin. Delicately flavoured with truffles from the forest, Boar Gin is winning gold medals around the world, while Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Sloe Gin is made with local wild fruit.
Mannheim – a city of surprises
SouthWest Germany’s most diverse city is Mannheim, with ethnic restaurants galore and no less than five exciting Michelin-starred restaurants.
Stuttgart beer festival
It wouldn’t be Germany without a decent beer festival. Celebrating 200 years in 2018, the Cannstatter Volksfest, the Stuttgart Beer Festival, is the world’s second biggest beer festival (September 28 to October 14). This 17-day-long event kicks off with the traditional keg tapping: the mayor draws the first beer from a barrel of specially-brewed Festbier (festival beer).
More at www.cannstatter-volksfest.de
Historic castle, historic brewery
The seat of the powerful Hohenzollern family for nearly 500 years, Sigmaringen Castle, overlooking the Danube, is known for its antique furniture and medieval weapons. In 1849, one Friedrich Müller leased the royal brewery here; then, he changed his name to Frederick Miller, sailed to the USA and founded the Miller Brewing Co in Milwaukee, which became a giant of American brewing.
Across the river, the 173-year-old Brauerei Zoller-Hof pays tribute to Miller with their “Old Fred” amber lager. Run by the 6th generation, this family brewery uses regionally-grown ingredients, including SouthWest Germany’s world-famous Tettnang hops. To produce fuller flavours, they mature their award-winning lagers for six weeks, much longer than usual.